450 apartments, 150 hotel rooms, and a public terrace
Salt-n-Pepa knew it all along: Let’s Talk About Sax, baby! Or something like that, right? At the Rotterdam Wilhelminapier a new skyline showpiece will rise soon. This 51-floors mixed-use tower is located between the New Luxor Theater and the Boston and Seattle residential buildings.
The tallest tower (Havana) of this saxophone shaped construction is 150 meters high, the other one (Philadelphia) 70 meters.
The towers are connected by an orange colored air bridge, in which a hotel is located. The Sax has 450 apartments, both to buy and to rent. The hotel has about 150 rooms, and a restaurant. On top of the hotel is a public terrace.
We easily predict, this terrace will be a major attraction in no time.
Responsible for this prestigious project are architects of Rotterdam’s design agency MVRDV. After an international competition, their design for The Sax building on the Wilhelminapier became a winner. MVRDV is famous for their design of the Markthal in Rotterdam. And the agency is also responsible for the upcoming Museum Boijmans depot, located in the Museum Park.
Jazz based architecture
The Sax is uniquely characterized by a pattern of bay windows. Compared to the other buildings on the Wilhelminapier, these towers have a translucent character .
According to the designers, the appearance of The Sax refers to the irregular rhythm of Jazz music. Especially in this music genre, the saxophone often is an improvisational element within the tight system of a chord scheme. The irregularly designed bay windows provide a kind of improvisation within tight constructive frameworks.
We think, the magic of The Sax really shows after sunset. When the lights in the homes and hotel rooms are on. By the way, are we the only ones who see a resemblance to the block-stacking game Jenga?
Transparent living in The Sax
Despite our enthusiasm, we need to mention two details we doubt.
First detail is about the balconies on top of the bay windows. These provide a direct look at the neighbors. What about privacy in this glassy building? The designers meant to create a residential building, full of social interaction. But how many people are really into transparent living?
Second detail is the promised sky bar in the top. Unfortunately, it is deleted because it would not be exploitable. In our opinion a sad decision, and a lost opportunity. Rotterdam lacks such special places-to-be.
Ready by the end of 2022
This architectural project requires an investment between 200 and 250 million euros. There is still a search for an investor for the rental housing, and an operator for the hotel.
Building is expected to start at the end of 2018, and the project will be ready by the end of 2022.
Visuals: Wax Architectural Visualisations